WACO, TX — For the entire month of October, the Waco Police Association is selling breast cancer patches in support of finding a cure for the disease.
“For a survivor, every day is breast cancer awareness day,” Sara Slider, Police Records Representative with the Waco Police Department, said.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Waco police are wearing pink patches to raise awareness, but for Sara Slider and Nicki Coffman, it’s personal.
”I was taking a shower and I just kept feeling something,” Nicki Coffman, Patrol Officer with Waco PD, said.
It wasn’t until Coffman went to the doctor that she found out she had breast cancer.
“Definitely shock. I stayed in that shock for probably two to three months,” Coffman said.
But that shock didn’t stop her from facing her diagnosis.
“I wanted to live," Coffman said. "So I was going to fight through it.”
Slider had also seen the devastation that breast cancer could bring, as she lost her mother to the disease in 2011.
“I was worried because nowhere was my family history of breast cancer,” Slider said.
But a few years later, at 33, she got a call that she never thought she would receive.
“They said, 'you have breast cancer.' And it had just been two years since I lost my mom," Slider said. "My entire world stopped.”
Thankfully, Slider's breast cancer was caught early because she did regular self-breast exams.
“If I were to have waited until I was 35 to get a mammogram, I would not be standing here,” Slider said.
After 6 months of chemo, Slider went into remission and has been cancer-free since, but her fight with the disease is far from over.
“If we can just raise awareness for early detection, there is hope,” Slider said.
The Waco Police Association is also in on the fight through the pink patch project, a way to raise awareness and money towards finding a cure.
“Maybe you are driving by and you see an officer at a traffic stop and you can see that big pink badge from a distance and maybe you will think, ‘oh my gosh, I need to schedule my mammogram,'” Slider explained.
Coffman wears her patch proudly on her uniform to signify not only her support, but her own battle with cancer, and for her co-worker, it also means the world.
“To see officers that I haven’t even met yet wearing their pink patch, words can’t even express how grateful I am as a survivor,” Slider said.
For those who are interested in supporting the Pink Patch Project, patches are for sale and all proceeds go to breast cancer research.